Gaz Coombes is one of those wonderful examples of a lead singer going solo and completely smashing it while moving away in a different direction. Since leaving seminal Britpop group Supergrass, he’s released three fantastic records, Here Come the Bombs, Matador, and brand-new album, World’s Strongest Man. We said that World’s Strongest Man was, “A continuing examination of ideas of masculine power, pride and ego” with, “Coombes laying bare his own frailties, in mind and body.” It’s a truly excellent record, and we sat down with Gaz Coombes to talk World’s Strongest Man, Frank Ocean, hip-hop, Record Store Day and Resident Records.
It took a while. But when they finally got it together, it was good. Very good. Formed and developed in Brighton, their recently released debut album has been winning some of those super rare 100%, 10/10 reviews, from people who can't get enough of their 70s and 80s classic pop-rock songs. Where harmonies and hooks are the most important thing. The four-piece have it in spades it seems, and we'll miss them as they move out of Brighton and head for the Big Smoke. However, they'll be back for this year's The Great Escape, as well as a date with Concorde 2 in the autumn. Brightonsfinest hooked up with guitarist, singer and songwriter Jack Kaye while they were in town recently for an in-store at Resident.
The Stockport five-piece Blossoms caught the imagination with their debut album of 2016, which sailed to number one in the album charts. It was quite an achievement, but this young band's propensity for producing straight ahead classic pop fare with an 80s vibe, hit the mark big time. As will, almost certainly, the new album, Cool Like You. A bit shinier, and more synth-driven, it's still full to the brim of catchy, melodic pop-rockers that will take them to another, more rarefied level.
The 23-year-old West Londoner has been making some serious waves these last two years, culminating in the release of his debut album a couple of weeks ago. He always had a voice – as a choir boy – but didn't start making his own music until his late teens, inspired by the likes of Leonard Cohen, and discovering the joys of GarageBand. Hunkering down in his bedroom to write and record, Gracie's 'Last Words' demo inspired industry interest, and the rest, as they say, is history.
After their exceptional sophomoric album, Twentytwo in Blue, which we called, “A thrilling ride which lands a solid sonic punch right in your guts” and their exceptional take-down of Brighton’s Concorde 2 a couple of weeks ago, we were honoured to chat to Sunflower Bean about their Top 40 record, making music in the American political landscape, and sitting Theo from Wolf Alice down to play him the record in full.
Back in January, Shame came out of the blocks fast with their stunning debut album Songs of Praise. Acclaimed across the board, their post-adolescent rage is infused with wit, a shed load of melody, and a fair degree of modesty. They didn't expect all this, but they may as well as take it as far as it goes. Following stints in Europe and the US they have just embarked on what they are now calling the 'Ibuprofen Tour'. Brightonsfinest spoke with guitarist Eddie Green about how a pub became the focus of their development, fighting at The Great Escape, and the stunning reaction to their music.
Demob Happy are back – and my word they are back! The have brought with them Holy Doom, their sophomoric effort which features more of the sleaze, the swagger, the fuzz and the hooks that we’ve come to adore. The Brighton via Newcastle act have been together ten years now and it feels like they have just got into their stride with an album that is sure to be high up on our Best Of Year list. A lot has changed for these dirty rockers since 2015 when their seminal debut LP, Dream Soda, came out. The main thing being they have gone from a quartet to a trio. We questioned Matthew Marcantonio, when in Norway on a European tour with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, about their journey to this new album.
Hinds’ journey of conquering the world is still on course, turbo charged by the release of their second album I Don’t Run. The infectious attitude, personality and appeal of Hinds is a difficult thing not to get sucked up in, especially when you are making brilliant fun music to go alongside it. The success of the Madrid-based quartet is something we have never seen from a Spanish band, so we questioned guitarist and vocalist Ana Perrote about this crazy dream they are living.
Over two decades in and Belle & Sebastian don’t look like letting up any time soon. Their latest record, How to Solve Our Human Problems, split into three EPs, showcases the best attributes of the Scottish six-piece in a delightful 15 song piece. From the solemn ‘Poor Boy’ to the majestic ‘The Same Star’, they haven’t lost that pop gravitas that made everyone fall in love with them all that time ago.
They played the Brighton Dome on Thursday 15th March in a show that we said made fans feel involved in an evening that covered each area of the band’s discography. Before the show, Brightonsfinest caught up with band’s multi-instrumentalist Sarah Martin for a chat about the new project, the chemistry the band has with their fans, and the legacy of the band.
Named after the Australian marsupial, but born at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, The Wombat are one of the most successful British bands of the last decade or so. Matthew Murphy (‘Murf’), Tord Overland-Knudsen, and Dan Haggis have just released their fourth album, Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, their third consecutive top five album, and it’s full of their trademark bouncy indie-rock, causing many a grown person to leap around like a 12-year-old. Murf took some time out to chat with Brightonsfinest.